Supporting England

For English, European and World football topics.

Supporting England

Postby macjackb » Mon Jun 14, 2010 3:12 pm

We can't wave the magic wand and rip their media up and start again, so it's a thousand times no. Our inferiority complex, Andy Cameron's England-cannae-dae-it-cos-they-didnae-qualify being an example, is an issue for us, but it doesn't negate their obnoxiousness.
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Postby scottish » Fri Jun 18, 2010 11:50 pm

Europe's 'big five' countries - the ones which dominate club football - have been atrocious so far. The combined record of England, France, Germany, Spain & Italy to date is P8 W1 D4 L3 F6 A7 Pts 7

Admittedly the Germans and the Spanish haven't played at all badly but it is still an amazingly poor record and, theoretically, none of them may progress further in this tournament. Realistically though I would say France are goners, Spain under pressure and the other three should all still go through with the Germans the most at risk.

If Italy beat New Zealand (and if they don't it'll make the hoo-hah over England-Algeria look like a welcome home party by comparison) then the worst they need to do is draw with Slovakia irrespective of how the Slovakia-Paraguay match turns out.

If England beat Slovenia (and if that doesn't happen then strike everything said above about Italian failure and prepare for burnt effigies dangling on the end of a noose at Heathrow upon arrival home) they will go through.

Germany are in a more difficult situation. Unless Ghana lose to Australia the Germans will need to beat Ghana in their final game to guarantee progress.

Right now Spain need to win both their remaining games though a Swiss win over Chile could mean a draw in their final match is enough, provided Spain beat Honduras by at least two goals.

France not only need to beat South Africa but hope the other match between Mexico and Uruguay isn't drawn and that they can also overturn a four or five-goal deficit in goal difference.

Would anyone have predicted that halfway through the group stages at least three of these countries, probably four and possibly all five would go into their final games needing to win to stay in the competition?
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Postby LEATHERSTOCKING » Sat Jun 19, 2010 10:10 am

Was that Scotland in disguise last night vs. Algeria?
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Supporting England

Postby Snuff » Sat Jun 19, 2010 8:55 pm

Leatherstocking asked: Was that Scotland in disguise last night vs. Algeria?

I don't know about that, but I certainly feel Friday night in Cape Town was maybe England's Iran.

I certainly know England don't have an Archie Gemmill, but, just in case, let's hope Slovenia have a Johnny Rep in their line-up.
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Postby Gorgiewave » Sat Jun 19, 2010 9:14 pm

scottish wrote:Europe's 'big five' countries - the ones which dominate club football - have been atrocious so far. The combined record of England, France, Germany, Spain & Italy to date is P8 W1 D4 L3 F6 A7 Pts 7


Why do you place France above Holland?

The European trophies record reads:

Holland: 11
France: 1
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Postby scottish » Sat Jun 19, 2010 10:11 pm

Gorgiewave wrote:

Why do you place France above Holland?

The European trophies record reads:

Holland: 11
France: 1


Scotland fare better than France in that respect but I wouldn't place us above them. What I meant was that these are the countries that are consistently the top ranked in Europe and regularly have three or four Champions League entries. For over a decade now these have been the five top ranked European countries in club football. Holland has not made the top five since 1999 - when England were ranked 6th - and not above France since 1989.
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Re: Supporting England

Postby scottish » Sat Jun 19, 2010 10:34 pm

Snuff wrote:
I don't know about that, but I certainly feel Friday night in Cape Town was maybe England's Iran.


I'm not so sure. Morocco, 1986 was pretty dismal as well and until David Platt's last-minute of extra time free kick v Belgium and more importantly Gary Lineker's penalty equaliser against Cameroon with seven minutes left and Lineker's second penalty in extra time, their entire 1990 campaign threatened to make ours in 1978 look like a procession to glory.

But those campaigns should serve as a warning. Then, as now, England were in the opinion of their media - and fans - clueless, leaderless, hopeless - with players unable to reproduce club form, badly hit by injuries and a manager who had no idea.

After a couple of victories against modest opponents - for Poland & Paraguay in 1986, Belgium & Cameroon in 1990, read Slovenia and Ghana/Serbia/Australia now - they were world-beaters, champions in waiting, eleven white-shirted heroes, led by a managerial titan and certain to win the trophy barring cheer bad luck or wilful cheating.

Bad luck explains 1990 and cheating 1986. That they were deservedly eliminated in both cases is never mentioned.

It would not surprise me in the slightest to see the same process happen again. Marx may have observed that history repeated itself, first as tragedy, second as farce but he forgot to add for a third time beyond satire.

However should England fail to beat Slovenia (and it is amazing that the possibility is even being considered by the press and TV) it would undoubtedly be their worst World Cup showing since 1950. The only time since then they have failed to progress beyond the group stage was in 1958 when they lost to the USSR in a play-off and could with justification cite the Munich disaster of just a few months earlier as evidence that they could never have done well in that particular competition.

While England have never been as good as a succession of pundits from the 1960s onwards would have had us believe it has generally taken a very good team to eliminate them. In 1954 it was Uruguay, reigning World Champions, in the quarter-finals. Ditto Brazil in 1962. West Germany in the 1970 quarters were undeniably a top-class side. In 1982 they were knocked out but unbeaten. 1986 was a last eight defeat to an Argentine team that went on to win the trophy. Likewise their semi-final loss to West Germany in 1990.

The Argentina team that beat them in the last sixteen in 1998 weren't a great side but a difficult one nonetheless. Brazil ousted them in the last eight in 2002 and went on to win and Portugal were a handy outfit in the 2006 quarters.

With that record it's hard to see them failing next Wednesday. Indeed it is much more likely they will go on to reach the last eight (and with luck of the draw the last four but no better than that) before blaming bad refereeing, nasty foreigners, bobbling penalty spots or a combination of all three for their failure to win.
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Postby Gorgiewave » Sun Jun 20, 2010 9:32 am

scottish wrote:
Gorgiewave wrote:

Why do you place France above Holland?

The European trophies record reads:

Holland: 11
France: 1


Scotland fare better than France in that respect but I wouldn't place us above them. What I meant was that these are the countries that are consistently the top ranked in Europe and regularly have three or four Champions League entries. For over a decade now these have been the five top ranked European countries in club football. Holland has not made the top five since 1999 - when England were ranked 6th - and not above France since 1989.


Forgive my ignorance, but are you referring to a published ranking? If so, what it is called?
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Postby scottish » Sun Jun 20, 2010 9:46 am

See here

Remember, year rankings apply to future tournaments so the first set of rankings you see - 2010 - are those which will apply in the Champions League/Europa League for 2011-12.
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Supporting England

Postby Snuff » Sun Jun 20, 2010 11:16 am

David: like you I would not be in the least surprised to see England come out on Wednesday and beat Slovenia - whereupon, according to their media, they would immediately be back on-track for World Cup glory.

I suspect the Slovenians, in their heart of hearts, do not believe they can beat England and would happily settle for a draw - cue a dreadful match, "salvaged" for England by some sort of flukey goal.

I've seen some really dreadful Scotland performances over the years - but for sheer ineptitude, although we didn't lose, nothing, not even the 9-3 game, comes close to the despair I felt after the Iran game.

That despair was doubtless deepened by my watching venue: a pub in Saffron Walden, self and one other Jock with some 20 Englishmen, who enjoyed our suffering, until Jock, a bruiser from Possil, "had a word", whereupon they hurriedly left.

I feel the many genuine England fans are, today, feeling as dejected as I did back in 1978. Many years hence, as the successors to "the Golden Generation" tarnish before their eyes - veteran England fans will sigh and say: "Terrible yes, but not as bad as Algeria".

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Re: Supporting England

Postby scottish » Sun Jun 20, 2010 11:41 am

Snuff wrote:

That despair was doubtless deepened by my watching venue: a pub in Saffron Walden


The over-reaction of one of the group watching the Peru match to the penalty miss meant we were banned by a mate's girlfriend from watching any more football in their house (at least I was only banned from watching the match, the perpetrator of the disorder was given a life sentence never to darken their door again) and I was tasked with finding a suitable venue for the Iran game.

I assured the handful of Scots with me that the student halls of residence in Middlesbrough was a 'safe' venue, as none of the Iranian students based there were in the slightest bit interested in football as the overthrow of the Shah and establishment of an Islamic republic in Iran was of far greater concern.

An error on my part for which some of those present have yet to forgive me. There were approximately 200 Iranians, displaying all the fervour normally associated at that time with an appearance by the Ayatollah Khomeini, five Scots and a dozen or so English guys who in the second half started noisily backing Scotland as they 'always liked to support the underdog.'

An all-round embarrassment almost as bad as the performance on the pitch.
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Re: Supporting England

Postby the hibLOG » Sun Jun 20, 2010 9:35 pm

Snuff wrote:I feel the many genuine England fans are, today, feeling as dejected as I did back in 1978. Many years hence, as the successors to "the Golden Generation" tarnish before their eyes - veteran England fans will sigh and say: "Terrible yes, but not as bad as Algeria".


But if Scotland had actually beaten Holland by the required margin and gone through no one would be talking about Iran or Peru now. Ditto if England scrape a win against Slovenia and go as far as a penalty defeat in the quarter finals then Algeria will fade into the mists of oblivion. History is written by the victors.
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Postby scottish » Mon Jun 21, 2010 11:33 am

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Postby the hibLOG » Mon Jun 21, 2010 11:18 pm



Aye, their heads are in the clouds alright.

It is an interesting theory though. The bit about different people's reaction is certainly true - you just don't know until you go up there whether it will affect you or not.

Could this rank along with Scotland's wooly jerseys at the Swiss World Cup for calamaties of poor planning?
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Postby the hibLOG » Tue Jun 22, 2010 4:54 am

I have also just read a claim that the FA lost the consignment of Jabulani footballs sent to them at the beginning of the year, preventing the squad familiarising themselves with them in advance of the tournament. Bad workmen and their tools, and all that.
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